I have been a Liberal supporter since 1968 when I first met Pierre Trudeau. I have worked on multitudes of campaigns. I am now so deeply embarrassed by my Liberal roots so as to renounce any thought of supporting them in the foreseeable future.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/12/2008 (4746 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Opinion

I have been a Liberal supporter since 1968 when I first met Pierre Trudeau. I have worked on multitudes of campaigns. I am now so deeply embarrassed by my Liberal roots so as to renounce any thought of supporting them in the foreseeable future.

Rightly or wrongly, the Canadian people spoke in the last election a mere few weeks ago and provided the Conservatives a strong minority only a dozen seats short of a majority. Stéphane Dion was appropriately emasculated by the result and the Liberal party suffered its worst defeat since Confederation.

When Dion was occasionally, and infrequently, able to communicate intelligibly, the only "shift" he was able to bring about, not green, was away from the Liberal party.

He was and remains a bad joke. He was the product of a self-indulgent and ego-driven spat between Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff, who were unable to resolve their differences and allow the party to pick one of them, resulting in the worst Liberal leader in history.

Now we are on the verge of a global economic crisis. To be sure, it is American-driven, but Canada has been seen as a bastion of stability, common sense, an intelligent, stable and conservative banking system, and a sound real estate base. In the face of that, what do we do?

To be sure, Prime Minister Stephen Harper engaged in schoolyard bully tactics with his electoral gambit. It was devoid of common sense and statesman-like behaviour.

And equally to be sure, whichever Conservative member listened in to the NDP caucus conference call and recorded it should also be embarrassed. It is a principle of common sense and civility that we do not take advantage of somebody else's mistake.

That said, the contents of that call are now public. And though the origins of its revelation are suspect, I must reiterate what Rhett Butler said to Scarlet, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

We now know that the economic crisis had nothing to do with this coalition. We now know that Prime Minister Harper's electoral gambit had nothing to do with this coalition.

This was a raw, naked and egregious grab at power that the Canadian people did not authorize.

No thinking person would ever allow the NDP anywhere near the seat of economic authority, at least on a federal level. There are such fundamental differences between the Liberals and the NDP on issues of economics as not to require repetition here.

And it does not require a thinking person, merely a Canadian, to know that we do not get into bed with the Bloc. To do so is constitutional folly if not constitutional suicide.

Whether or not the House is permitted by the Governor General to be prorogued, I beseech her not to permit this coalition. This is not a coalition like any other before in history.

Leaving aside the offensiveness of a coalition with the NDP during a period of economic crisis, allowing unions to have a say at this frail time, allying oneself with a party whose leader as recently as Dec. 2 stated publicly that the party remains committed to separation from Canada, is more than offensive. It is unconscionable.

The Liberal party that Pierre Trudeau brought me into would never permit such a travesty.

The risk here is an additional $300 million for another election. With due respect, this is chump change compared to the damage the NDP or the Bloc will do to Canada if permitted the opportunity.

 

Robert L. Tapper is a Winnipeg lawyer.